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Virginia Lee (Vietje) Macho

Fairlee, Vt. — Virginia Lee Macho, 76, of Fairlee, died peacefully at Hanover Terrace Healthcare early Saturday, April 26, 2014, after a long illness. Many people in the Upper Valley will remember her as Virginia Vietje.

Ginny led an interesting life. She was born Aug. 1, 1937, in Brooklyn, N.Y. to Jose and Virginia (Luzier) Macho. She grew up in Huntington Station, N.Y., and graduated from Walt Whitman High School in 1955. She studied music for one year at Fredonia State University. In August, 1956 she married Theodore Vietje, and settled in the village of Centerport, N.Y. to begin her family. In 1968, the Vietje family moved to Fairlee when they bought the Rare Bird and Animal Farm, which they ran for three seasons with invaluable assistance from Chester French, of Piermont. They bred mountain lions and raised all manner of wild animals while raising three children. The zoo was closed in October, 1970, leaving Vermont the only state in the US without a zoo.

Ginny loved classical music, and was accomplished at the piano, the accordion and the theatre organ, and taught piano lessons at her home in Fairlee. Ginny also enjoyed photography, as well as sketching and painting New England Landscapes and scenery. She was an avid bowler, and competed on teams in the Upper Valley and on Long Island for over 50 years.

Ginny worked briefly at Dartmouth College and Bond Optics before joining her husband in educational sales in 1976. She represented such companies as D.C. Heath and Encyclopedia Britannica, and was the regional sales representative for Perma-Bound Books for 32 years, retiring in 2008. After living for a few years in Norwich, she returned to a rented home in Fairlee until her health declined. Virginia and Ted were divorced in 2000, at which time she reverted to her maiden name of Macho.

Virginia is survived by her three children, Yvonne Stone and husband Richard, of West Hartford, Vt., Brad Vietje and wife, Linda Ide, of Newbury, Vt., and Darren Vietje and wife Lilli, of Porter Corners, N.Y.; as well as her younger brothers, Donald Macho of Stuart, Fla., and Jose Macho and wife, Wanda of Madison, Conn. She also leaves behind three wonderful grandchildren, George (Philip) Vietje and wife, Dr. Phuong Vietje of Essex Jct., Vt. and Hampton Beach, Va., Jesse Stone and wife, Tara of White River Jct., Vt., and Mariah Stone of Hartford, Vt.; four beautiful great-grandchildren, Leah, Noah & Adelaide Stone, and Chase Vietje; as well as a nephew and three nieces; plus her half-brothers and sisters from her father’s second marriage.

Ginny was pre-deceased by both of her parents, as well as her older sister, Phyllis Nordheim, of Hauppaugh, N.Y., and her former husband, Ted Vietje, of Newbury.

At Ginny’s request there will be no formal funeral service, but the family will hold a memorial gathering in the Upper Valley later this spring at a time and place to be announced. Messages of condolence may be expressed to the family through an online guest book by visiting www.rickerfuneralhome.com.